Female Vital Statistics
by Judith Thorpe
Did you know that despite women holding 46% of the UK's wealth, only 2% of business angels in Scotland are female?
Female vital statistics - a delicate matter perhaps but not in Aberdeen this week when Jackie Waring, from Investing Women, presented us with some startling vital statistics at a lunch kindly hosted by Adam and Co, in their beautiful offices on Rubislaw Terrace. Did you know that despite women holding 46% of the UK's wealth, only 2% of business angels in Scotland are female? Another interesting statistic is that the average yield for an angel investment in the UK is 2.2 times the initial investment over 3 years.
However, Investing Women is about so much more than financial gain or return. It is an opportunity to network with other successful women and to support and mentor female entrepreneurs, in addition to bridging that crucial funding gap.
Successful business is about successful relationships between like-minded individuals and nothing could be truer of Angel Investment. A wonderful example of this was presented at an Entrepreneurial Exchange conference a few years ago, when I was inspired by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne of Genius Foods. She spoke about how she had created a global food brand from a desire to cater for her own child who unfortunately suffered from a wheat intolerance. Coincidentally, she happened to meet her first and significant angel investor at the school gates, who was keen to invest in her produce as they also suffered from a wheat intolerance. As a result of this investment, Lucinda was able to increase her production in order to cope with the demand from the supermarket chains, but she also gained a hugely inspirational and experience business mentor, which undoubtedly proved extremely useful in her rapid expansion and global ambition.
Having been funded by the then PSYBT, we bridged our start-up funding gap with a loan at preferential interest rates of 4% and gained access to a fantastic community of experienced business professionals and informal mentors. I am therefore a big supporter of Investing Women and whilst I am no angel, this is an initiative I am very keen to get involved with!